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Build Typed GraphQL Queries in TypeScript. A better TypeScript + GraphQL experience.
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typed-graphqlify

Build Typed GraphQL Queries in TypeScript. A better TypeScript + GraphQL experience.

Install

npm install --save typed-graphqlify

Or if you use Yarn:

yarn add typed-graphqlify

Motivation

We all know that GraphQL is so great and solves many problems that we have with REST APIs, like overfetching and underfetching. But developing a GraphQL Client in TypeScript is sometimes a bit of pain. Why? Let's take a look at the example we usually have to make.

When we use GraphQL library such as Apollo, We have to define a query and its interface like this:

interface GetUserQueryData {
  getUser: {
    id: number
    name: string
    bankAccount: {
      id: number
      branch?: string
    }
  }
}

const query = graphql(gql`
  query getUser {
    user {
      id
      name
      bankAccount {
        id
        branch
      }
    }
  }
`)

apolloClient.query<GetUserQueryData>(query).then(data => ...)

This is so painful.

The biggest problem is the redundancy in our codebase, which makes it difficult to keep things in sync. To add a new field to our entity, we have to care about both GraphQL and TypeScript interface. And type checking does not work if we do something wrong.

typed-graphqlify comes in to address this issues, based on experience from over a dozen months of developing with GraphQL APIs in TypeScript. The main idea is to have only one source of truth by defining the schema using GraphQL-like object and a bit of helper class. Additional features including graphql-tag, or Fragment can be implemented by other tools like Apollo.

How to use

First, define GraphQL-like JS Object:

import { params, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

const getUserQuery = {
  user: params(
    { id: 1 },
    {
      id: types.number,
      name: types.string,
      bankAccount: {
        id: types.number,
        branch: types.optional.string,
      },
    },
  ),
}

Note that we use our types helper to define types in the result, and the params helper to define the parameters.

Then, convert the JS Object to GraphQL (string) with graphqlify:

import { query } from 'typed-graphqlify'

const gqlString = query('getUser', getUserQuery)

console.log(gqlString)
// =>
//   query getUser {
//     user(id: 1) {
//       id
//       name
//       bankAccount {
//         id
//         branch
//       }
//     }
//   }

Finally, execute the GraphQL:

import { executeGraphql } from 'some-graphql-request-library'

// We would like to type this!
const result: typeof getUser = await executeGraphql(gqlString)

// As we cast `result` to `typeof getUser`,
// Now, `result` type looks like this:
// interface result {
//   user: {
//     id: number
//     name: string
//     bankAccount: {
//       id: number
//       branch?: string
//     }
//   }
// }

image

Features

Currently typed-graphqlify can convert these GraphQL features:

  • Operations
    • Query
    • Mutation
    • Subscription
  • Inputs
    • Variables
    • Parameters
  • Data structures
    • Nested object query
    • Array query
  • Scalar types
    • number
    • string
    • boolean
    • Enum
    • Constant
    • Custom type
    • Optional types, e.g.) number | undefined
  • Fragments
  • Inline Fragments

Examples

Basic Query

query getUser {
  user {
    id
    name
    isActive
  }
}
import { query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getUser', {
  user: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
    isActive: types.boolean,
  },
})

Or without query name

query {
  user {
    id
    name
    isActive
  }
}
import { query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query({
  user: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
    isActive: types.boolean,
  },
})

Basic Mutation

Just use mutation.

mutation updateUserMutation($input: UserInput!) {
  updateUser(input: $input) {
    id
    name
  }
}
import { mutation, params } from 'typed-graphqlify'

mutation('updateUserMutation', params({ $input: 'UserInput!' }, {
  updateUser: params({ input: '$input' }, {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
  }),
})

Nested Query

Write nested objects just like GraphQL.

query getUser {
  user {
    id
    name
    parent {
      id
      name
      grandParent {
        id
        name
        children {
          id
          name
        }
      }
    }
  }
}
import { query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getUser', {
  user: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
    parent: {
      id: types.number,
      name: types.string,
      grandParent: {
        id: types.number,
        name: types.string,
        children: {
          id: types.number,
          name: types.string,
        },
      },
    },
  },
})

Array Field

Just add array to your query. This does not change the result, but TypeScript will be aware the field is an array.

query getUsers {
  users(status: 'active') {
    id
    name
  }
}
import { params, query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('users', {
  users: params({ status: 'active' }, [
    {
      id: types.number,
      name: types.string,
    },
  ]),
})

Optional Field

Add types.optional or optional helper method to define optional field.

import { optional, query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getUser', {
  user: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.optional.string, // <-- user.name is `string | undefined`
    bankAccount: optional({      // <-- user.bankAccount is `{ id: number } | undefined`
      id: types.number,
    }),
  },
}

Constant field

Use types.constant method to define constant field.

query getUser {
  user {
    id
    name
    __typename # <-- Always `User`
  }
}
import { query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getUser', {
  user: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
    __typename: types.constant('User'),
  },
})

Enum field

Use types.oneOf method to define Enum field.

query getUser {
  user {
    id
    name
    type # <-- `Student` or `Teacher`
  }
}
import { query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

enum UserType {
  'Student',
  'Teacher',
}

query('getUser', {
  user: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
    type: types.oneOf(UserType),
  },
})

Note: Currently creating type from array element is not supported in TypeScript. See https://github.com/Microsoft/TypeScript/issues/28046

Multiple Queries

Add other queries at the same level of the other query.

query getFatherAndMother {
  father {
    id
    name
  }
  mother {
    id
    name
  }
}
import { query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getFatherAndMother', {
  father: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
  },
  mother: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.number,
  },
})

Query Alias

Query alias is implemented via a dynamic property.

query getMaleUser {
  maleUser: user {
    id
    name
  }
}
import { alias, query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getMaleUser', {
  [alias('maleUser', 'user')]: {
    id: types.number,
    name: types.string,
  },
}

Standard fragments

Use the fragment helper to create them, and spread the result into places the fragment is used.

query {
  user(id: 1) {
    ...userFragment
  }
  maleUsers: users(sex: MALE) {
    ...userFragment
  }
}

fragment userFragment on User {
  id
  name
  bankAccount {
    ...bankAccountFragment
  }
}

fragment bankAccountFragment on BankAccount {
  id
  branch
}
import { alias, fragment, params, query } from 'typed-graphqlify'

const bankAccountFragment = fragment('bankAccountFragment', 'BankAccount', {
  id: types.number,
  branch: types.string,
})

const userFragment = fragment('userFragment', 'User', {
  id: types.number,
  name: types.string,
  bankAccount: {
    ...bankAccountFragment,
  },
})

query({
  user: params({ id: 1 }, {
    ...userFragment,
  }),
  [alias('maleUsers', 'users')]: params({ sex: 'MALE' }, {
    ...userFragment,
  }),
}

Inline Fragment

Use on helper to write inline fragments.

query getHeroForEpisode {
  hero {
    id
    ... on Droid {
      primaryFunction
    }
    ... on Human {
      height
    }
  }
}
import { on, query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getHeroForEpisode', {
  hero: {
    id: types.number,
    ...on('Droid', {
      primaryFunction: types.string,
    }),
    ...on('Human', {
      height: types.number,
    }),
  },
})

If you are using a discriminated union pattern, then you can use the onUnion helper, which will automatically generate the union type for you:

query getHeroForEpisode {
  hero {
    id
    ... on Droid {
      kind
      primaryFunction
    }
    ... on Human {
      kind
      height
    }
  }
}
import { onUnion, query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

query('getHeroForEpisode', {
  hero: {
    id: types.number,
    ...onUnion({
      Droid: {
        kind: types.constant('Droid'),
        primaryFunction: types.string,
      },
      Human: {
        kind: types.constant('Human'),
        height: types.number,
      },
    }),
  },
})

This function will return a type of A | B, meaning that you can use the following logic to differentiate between the 2 types:

const droidOrHuman = queryResult.hero
if (droidOrHuman.kind === 'Droid') {
  const droid = droidOrHuman
  // ... handle droid
} else if (droidOrHument.kind === 'Human') {
  const human = droidOrHuman
  // ... handle human
}

See more examples at src/index.test.ts

Usage with React Native

This library uses Symbol and Map, meaning that if you are targeting ES5 and lower, you will need to polyfill both of them.

So, you may need to import babel-polyfill in App.tsx.

import 'babel-polyfill'
import * as React from 'react'
import { View, Text } from 'react-native'
import { query, types } from 'typed-graphqlify'

const queryString = query({
  getUser: {
    user: {
      id: types.number,
    },
  },
})

export class App extends React.Component<{}> {
  render() {
    return (
      <View>
        <Text>{queryString}</Text>
      </View>
    )
  }
}

See: https://github.com/facebook/react-native/issues/18932

Why not use apollo client:codegen?

There are some GraphQL -> TypeScript convertion tools. The most famous one is Apollo codegen:

https://github.com/apollographql/apollo-tooling#apollo-clientcodegen-output

In this section, we will go over why typed-graphqlify is a good alternative.

Disclaimer: I am not a heavy user of Apollo codegen, so the following points could be wrong. And I totally don't mean disrespect Apollo codegen.

Simplicity

Apollo codegen is a great tool. In addition to generating query interfaces, it does a lot of tasks including downloading schemas, schema validation, fragment spreading, etc.

However, great usability is the tradeoff of complexity.

There are some issues to generate interfaces with Apollo codegen.

I (and maybe everyone) don't know the exact reasons, but Apollo's codebase is too large to find out what the problem is.

On the other hand, typed-graphqlify is as simple as possible by design, and the logic is quite easy. If some issues happen, we can fix them easily.

Multiple Schemas problem

Currently Apollo codegen cannot handle multiple schemas.

Although I know this is a kind of edge case, but if we have the same type name on different schemas, which schema is used?

typed-graphqlify works even without schema

Some graphql frameworks, such as laravel-graphql, cannot print schema as far as I know. I agree that we should avoid to use such frameworks, but there must be situations that we cannot get graphql schema for some reasons.

Write GraphQL programmatically

It is useful to write GraphQL programmatically, although that is an edge case.

Imagine AWS management console:

image

If you build something like that with GraphQL, you have to build GraphQL dynamically and programmatically.

typed-graphqlify works for such cases without losing type information.

Contributing

To get started with a development installation of the typed-graphqlify, follow the instructions at our Contribution Guide.

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